Monday, July 4, 2011


Happy Fourth of July, aka Independence Day! If you're an American, that is. I don't presume that all of the readers who have managed to stick around after the steep drop-off in the quality and quantity of my posts since the twins are, in fact, American. Actually, I know you aren't, thanks to Google Analytics.

One of the things I loved most about living in Pennsylvania was being in the proximity of many, many historical sites. Here in Iowa, we're making modern history by being the fist state to allow gay marriage, but we're not steeped in the history of the beginnings of our country.

It makes me wish that I could get to places in the world where the history of humanity started. If those paces weren't torn asunder by war, financial ruin, and natural disaster.

So, in honor of Independence Day, here are my Independence Day Wishes. Yes, I'm aware that there is no such tradition as making a wish and blowing out a sparkler, but here are my wishes nonetheless:

1. That the weeds in my flower beds and garden would declare independence, flee, and form their own colony somewhere. Just not in my yard.

2. That the clutter in my house would declare itself free from my tyranny, flee, and form its own colony somewhere. They could call it "West Cluttterland" or something.

3. That our laundry would protest stain removal without representation and flee to the safety of the colonies also known as closets.

It should be written into the constitution of the United States of America that if you have four children aged 6 and under, you should be exempt from functioning as a proper adult and should never be ridiculed for any incoherent babblings you choose to post online, like in your blog. Nor should anyone laugh when you accidentally inhale a smidge of the rather large swig of coffee you just took, especially when the aspiration causes you to choke and spray said mouthful of coffee all over your bathroom mirror, counter top and sink. Bonus points for cleaning it up while gasping for breath...

Vive la independence!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sound and Fury

I am seething.

Absolutely enraged.

Yet another one of my dear friends has been invaded by that ruthless monster cancer. Yet another generous soul. Yet another mother who refuses to give up and leave her children. Yet another wife whose husband will be forced to carry a family through treatment. Yet another daughter whose parents will stand by, helpless to help their baby. Yet another family devastated by the possibility, the dread and fury of senseless illness.

Ironically, yesterday was my birthday and as I was driving home from work I was listening to a story on NPR about the optimistic bias most people have when faced with a diagnosis of a vile disease. My gracious and grateful friend is one of these optimists -- the announcement she made regarding her ovarian cancer is graceful and full of light and full of fight.


I'm just royally pissed. I think that's OK, though -- if she is positive and optimistic, I'll get my hands dirty and fight the fight in any way she needs. She's got the game plan and I'll take whatever orders she gives. Let me be the angry one, let me be the one to take the punches. Let me take this so that she can focus on getting well.

I do not make friends easily. I am friendly, but I'm really just a blustery introvert who can fake it when she needs to, but in her I feel that I've found a kindred spirit. Of course, she is so open and loving that I am probably one of dozens who feels this way about her, but this is MY friend we're talking about here. I lay claim to that friendship. Once again I find myself screaming at the cosmos for trying to steal MY FRIEND.

Dammit, you're not getting this one, either.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stationery card

Script Twins Pink Birth Announcement
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Diaper that Ate Cleveland

I just giggled. And giggled and giggled and giggled.

What else could I do? The whole situation was so absurd -- there we were, rather experienced parents, faced with the diapering situation that proved we had somehow sinned against nature.

And I giggled.

Y'all have read my disclaimer to the right, right? This is one of those bodily fluid posts. Actually, it's really a comedy of errors post which uses a dirty diaper as the antagonist. Scott and I are the protagonists, though our actions were less-than-heroic.

Here's the setting: a small lobby in an academic building at a large local institution where we have brought our older two children to be experimented upon. Cue maniacal evil laugh. No, really, they were taking part in a non-invasive psychological experiment where they looked at images on a computer and touched the screen -- nothing painful, nor scary, though they were ensconced in a sound-proof booth.

Milo was first up and after he was whisked away, Scott and I decided to change Willa's poopy diaper. Willa is a power pooper -- she only goes every 3-4 days and when she does, she can fill a diaper like none other. We knew this was going to be a two-person job as there wasn't an adequate place for us to lay her for the change, so she was on her diaper pad on a low vinyl loveseat. Violet was sitting by her feet, Scott was prepped to grab her legs, and I was ready with the wipes.

First error: Not picking the floor. For reasons that will become obvious at some point in this growing narrative.

Second error: Not assembling all of the diapering needs before starting. Also for reasons soon to become apparent.

So I unsnap the diaper cover (we're cloth diapering) and discover poop of the normal amount and consistency. Scott holds Willa's legs, probably higher than she'd like because she starts making yowl-y discontent sounds. At this time, the diaper mess is contained in the diaper and I am working systematically to get the poo off of her. For an unknown reason, Scott lets go of her right leg and she immediately puts her tiny sock right into the diaper. He grabs her leg and peels off the sock as I chide him for letting go.

Good-naturedly he replies, "Yeah... that was a bonehead rookie error. I was pulling down my shirt." OK, I get not wanting to show your back hair to the world, but we were the only ones there. If only we'd stopped there...

As I'm about to get the last of the poo, Willa suddenly decides she wants to check out what's going on down there, flailing her arms towards the mess. I grab her hand before it comes in contact with the poo, but her shirt became an unfortunate casualty. Finally, I wipe the last of the poo from her bum -- it was a five wipe diaper (to this point). Scott gently peels her poopy shirt over her head as I turn my back for a second to grab a new diaper cover (I already had the diaper in hand).

Third Error: Turning our backs for just a moment.

As I turn back around, I notice a growing wet spot under my babe. She was peeing. And the diaper mat is not absorbant. I stood there, frozen, thinking, "She's not going to pee THAT much, is she?"

Right? Wrong.

Fourth Error: Freezing up like a popsicle in Antarctica.

Fifth Error: Not watching where your feet are going when you're moving.

Scott notices my statue impression and dives into the fray to soak up the pee with the poopy shirt he's holding (instead of the absorbent diaper I was holding like a white flag, surrendering to the situation). As he lunges past me, he catches his toenail on something, breaking it and crying, "Ow!"

He folds the diaper mat around Willa like a taco shell to stem the flood of pee from soaking the couch, all the while sucking air through his teeth and exhaling "Ow! Ow! Ow!"

And that's when I lost it. I fell into a giggle fit that lasted at least ten minutes.

In a matter of moments, I had Willa re-diapered and had shown Scott where the spare onesies were. We wiped up the pee, dressed the baby, crammed every soiled thing into my wet bag, and then looked over to see the absolutely horrified look on Violet's little face.

What was running through her mind? Was she appalled by the bodily functions of her infant sister? Fearing for her life at being left in the hands of us as parents? Wondering how she managed to make it to the ripe old age of 3 and 3/4 without suffering physical harm? All of the above?

So, anyway... Just when you think you've got the whole parenting thing figured out, Revenge of the Diaper will strike and put you right back in your place.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Two Turn Signals Down, Pixar

John Lasseter and Pixar Films, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

I have no idea WHAT that was that we just took our kids to this afternoon. It was supposed to be Cars 2, but seemed like love child of Disney merchandising and Mission: Impossible 27 - The One with the Dippy Sidekick.

Scott and I have, for the last decade, chosen to see Pixar films reviews unread due to the tremendous quality of writing and the depth of heart in the painstakingly realized characters.

But this? No... this, your 25th anniversary film, was essentially one big freakin' commercial. I get that cars (and Cars) are easy merchandise to move. What parent or grandparent feels guilty about dropping $5-6 on a measly Car? Heck, we have an entire tubful of them from the first movie. My favorite is Doc Hudson with his Hudson Hornet racing stickers on -- hubba hubba! However, a mere ten minutes into this film and I was rolling my eyes. Sumo cars. Flight attendant cars. Italian villager cars. British royal cars. The cast list goes on and on and on and on... Not to mention all of the playsets: fancy hotels, oil rigs, Japanese/Italian/British racetracks... Where was Radiator Stinks? Oh, yeah... in the background.

For a company that prided itself on pushing the boundaries of technology and the notion that animated films could just be GOOD MOVIES, this one was a huge letdown. Had any other studio released it, my comment would have been, "Oh, it was fun, but it was no Pixar movie."

Where were the layers in the storytelling? There was nothing so unexpected as Dory, so breathtaking as Wall-E and Eve dancing in the starts, so heartwarming as Andy jumping into the box of toys going to Bonnie's house. No one went on an emotional journey like both Lightning McQueen and Doc Hudson did in the original. Mater is, was, and always will be Mater -- he's a character who is comfortable being who he is and to put him in the position where he doubts himself rings a sour note. There's a reason he's drawn like a second-grader just growing into his adult teeth -- his innocence is so pervasive, his naivete so genuine that he has to look like a child. No second grader goes on a journey of self-realization where he suddenly sees himself from the perspective of others and thinks what he sees is bad. Mater just doesn't have the insecurity to do that.

And the friendship lesson? Lightning learned that one when Sally tipped his hand into getting him to follow through with the whole helicopter ride thing. He's got that one down. Even the attempt to make him grow exasperated with Mater seems like a stretch.

This movie feels like the writers sat around and tried to make a full-length film out of one of the Mater shorts on the Disney Channel. There just wasn't enough there for a feature film. The race sequences are built for a video game -- the rainbow bridge was straight our of Mario Kart. How disappointing.

I guess that maybe, after 25 years, you aren't the new kids on the block anymore. You aren't the maverick, the visionary, the one with "it." You have become the establishment. And we're the unfortunate parents who you're trying to get to pay for it. Two turn signals down, Pixar.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lend Me Your Ear

My brain is leaking out of my ear.

Well, not really my brain, but my eardrum ruptured this morning and it just sounds funnier to say it's my brain evacuating me than ear fluid, right? Especially since I had a doozy of a day yesterday and took to the interwebs before I had a chance to gather myself together and process my day like the adult I'm supposed to be. D'oh!


Much better all around. 1. My ear doesn't hurt anymore -- it's just drippy and gross and I can't hear with it, but it's not painful. 2. I got more sleep last night than I did the night before.

Number 2 is the biggest reason I'm feeling more like myself again. I think it's a foregone conclusion that every post I make where I sound like a whiny-assed baby was preceded by a Night of Little Sleep. I really don't even need that much more sleep to make a difference -- last night I crashed from 11 - 2 and 3:30 - 5 and 5:40 - 6:30 and feel oh-so-much better than I did yesterday.

Heck, I even peered silently at my sleeping children (all of them) before I left for work and thought "I'm gonna miss you guys...". Not "Oh, good gravy, WHY did I think I needed more than zero children?" like I thought yesterday.

So here are some witty musings on a ruptured eardrum:

a) My kids will be able to get away with a ton of stuff today, provided they do it all to my left side since I can't hear.

b) People freak the freak out when you say you've ruptured an eardrum. It actually feels better than the ear pain (I promise), though the yellow gunk I keep dabbing away is pretty icky. At least it's not blood!

c) I'm going to the doctor as soon as Scott gets home from work today. And I'm looking forward to it! Think about it -- when you're at the doctor, you get to talk about yourself, you are the center of attention, and they have to make you feel better. Plus, I'll totally get to wander around Target as I wait for my prescription to be filled. What could be better than a solo trip where I'm guaranteed to have to walk around for at least 20 minutes as they process my prescription?

d) I have a built in excuse for ignoring whomever and whatever I want -- what was that? Did you say something to me? You sounded a bit like Charlie Brown's teacher. Wah-wah. Wah wah wah-wah wah wah.

Hey -- why don't you all send me some more ideas on why it's a super thing that my eardrum ruptured? Go ahead and be as goofy as you dare...

But mostly I'm looking forward to that trip to Target. It's gonna be my light at the end of the ear canal today. Pretty pathetic, huh?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Some Days...

I am having a bad mommy day today. A ba-a-a-a-a-ad mommy day.

I simply have no patience for poor Milo and Violet. To be fair, they have found every way to exploit the fact that my hands have been full of babies, bottles, diapers, and pumping. Prime example? Just now they splashed gallons of water out of the tub during their bath. Something they have done a thousand times and have been reprimanded for a thousand times and yet here I am, shaking with rage and bawling so that I don't say something awful to them.

Why is this so darn hard some days? Why can't the kids see they've pushed me past my breaking point and step back? Why do I feel like such a failure at this day after day after day? OK -- I don't feel like a failure every day. But my current sleep deprived state has me feeling like a failure more days than not.

And I feel like I'm failing at everything. I'm far too impatient with the big kids. I can't get the babies to want to nurse except for once in a blue moon. I'm stressed enough that my pumping totals are dwindling. I don't have time for an adult relationship with my husband, and when the poor fella does get lucky, I fume all night because I lost precious sleep for sex. My house is falling apart -- I can't keep up on anything but the kitchen, bathrooms, diapers, cooking, and laundry.

I suppose I might be a bit of a control freak because if someone offers to help, all I can think is "It would take me more time to explain than it would to just do it." And so I'm washing bottles and doing diapers at 1:00 am and 4:00 am on a regular basis. And fretting because my hard-working husband continues to fold the towels wrong after 15 years of marriage.

To top it all off, my left ear has gone from plugged up to completely blocked to starting to hurt. I should probably go to the doctor tomorrow, but I'm working in the morning and Scott's working in the afternoon and I don't want to drag the kids out. Plus, I'd actually like to touch base with my regular physician to get my asthma inhaler refilled so that I can maybe get out and get some exercise in this allergy-inducing season.

And now I feel like a total putz for whining. Yay! Pity party for me!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Victim of Brutality

Right now, things are quiet in my house. And it's pretty darn eerie.

Milo and Violet are munching on a snack of Frosted Flakes and the babies are napping -- one in the swing and one hanging in the Intellitainer (a non-rocking Exersaucer). I'm not sure why she's comfy like that, but I'm just gonna go with it for now.

And I am a zombie. A complete and total useless waste of flesh today. I can't stay awake long enough to feed a baby or pump -- just the act of sitting still is enough to knock me out today.


Night times are just plain brutal.

We're both on call for most of the night -- it takes both of us to feed the babes and I'm not exaggerating this one. I can't imagine how single parents do this...

Milo wasn't too bad at night. Once we decided not to breastfeed him, we were able to split his nighttime feedings. I'd take the early one and Scott the later one and we'd both only have to be awake once at night,

With Violet, I nursed her mostly in my sleep. All night long, yes, but I was asleep in a chair so I barely noticed.

But this time? It's just monumental. For the most part, the girls are still on a 3 hour rotation. So we feed them at about 9, taking about 40 minutes. Then we put them to bed. Scott does the getting them to sleep part while I pump. Then I wash bottles and start the load of diapers, get ready for bed and take a shower since I've discovered that I really don't have time to shower in the morning before work. I get to bed around 11:00.

One hour of sleep.

The girls wake at 12ish for their next feeding, again taking about 40 minutes. Then I pump, run the diapers through the hot wash, wash bottles and come back to bed around 1:30 - 1:45.

One hour and fifteen minutes to one and a half hours of sleep.

The girls wake at 3ish for their next feeding, again taking about 40 minutes. Then I pump, put the diapers in the dryer, wash bottles and come back to bed around 4:30 - 4:45.

One hour and fifteen minutes to one and a half hours of sleep.

The girls wake at 6ish for their next feeding, again taking about 40 minutes. Then I pump, make my coffee and breakfast and get ready for the day.

Now some days we get an extra half an hour to an hour of sleep between one of the feedings, but never between more than one. So that means on the best day where we get an extra hour and my housework takes less time than expected, I will get 5 hours of sleep. On a normal day it's closer to three and a half hours.

Could I go to bed right after the 9 o'clock feeding? Not really -- Milo and Violet are rarely settled by then and some nights we're eating after a t-ball game or at the pool or visiting Grandma and Grandpa and time slips away so very quickly. And now that I'm back to work I can't go back to sleep after the 6 o'clock feeding. I had been able to do that until last week and Scott still does (lucky bastard).

And weekends? Well, because I'm generally still up at 7 o'clock after pumping and washing bottles, I nearly always greet one or two of the walking children on the way down the stairs as I head back up to join Scott for another hour of sleep, so no chance for more sleep once they're awake. I've gone so far as to try and convince them that I am completely capable of snuggling them on the couch while I'm sound asleep. It's true, you know... But they don't buy it and start talking to me anyway, frequently pleading "Mommy! Open your eyes!"

Well, Mommy doesn't want to open her eyes. Mommy needs a darn nap! But that's not really going to happen, either, because as soon as Mommy gets home from work, Daddy heads out to the garden or to his parents to mow or to a meeting or to care for the chickens. And Mommy doesn't get a chance to deliberately close her eyes.

I just wish for one day where all I did was nurse, feed, and pump then roll over and go back to sleep. But that would require another adult to assist Scott and if there's another adult around, he's back out to work on out poor overgrown garden, to mow, or to meet with people and I get suckered back into the fray no matter what.

I seriously don't know why it isn't standard issue for moms of infant multiples to get free maid/cook/garden service. If I ruled the world, that is what would happen.

In the mean time, I'll just watch the rest of my family sleep as I play dairy cow, dishwasher, and diaper service. Or, in other words, Mom.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Myth Bustin'

Have you heard this one? Early walker, late talker.

Or this one? Boys talk later than girls.

While either or both of those might be true for some kids, I'd like to challenge these statements and assure you that they are, at least for my family, not factual.

Early walker, late talker...

What I really hate about this platitude is that it implies that it implies that your early walker is somehow showing a tendency towards stupidity. Or that your early talker is so patently uncoordinated that he or she will never learn to run in a straight line or something. If that were the case, wouldn't half of the population be stumbling drunkenly across the room while debating particle physics and the rest sprinting around gracefully while extolling the virtues of Michael Bay films?

I get that sometimes a child will focus on developing in one area and hit a certain milestone before another milestone. And that is completely normal. But so is the kid who learns to walk and talk at about the same time. So down with that platitude!

Boys blah blah slower than girls blah blah...

Again, I really think you need to take this on a case by case basis. My daughter developed speech ahead of her scheduled milestones, that's true. But my son? He blew her out of the water. In fact, he was so verbal so early Scott actually asked me if Violet was slow. (Ha!) One his first birthday, mILO used an actual sentence -- signing the word "more", saying "turkey" and signing "please." More turkey, please. Heck it wasn't just that he used a sentence, he use proper manners. All right, that was a sentence fragment, but you get the picture.

OK -- before I sound like one of those moms who brags all over her kids, he also can't remember from one day to the next where he's left his shoes. Hint: in the same place they always go.

But, yeah -- give your boys a chance! They aren't Neanderthals simply because they have that Y chromosome -- nah, caveman behavior takes some practice! It takes some talent to become a big ol' Weiner, you know...

This post is part of the Multiples and More Question of the Week Link-Up. Brought to you by frazzled parents of multiples everywhere. Or anywhere. Or nowhere. Or here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Back to Work!

Yesterday was my first day back to work since I was placed on bedrest on April 8th.

For some working moms, the transition back to work is tough. I can't say that it is terribly difficult for me because each time I've gone back to work, Scott has had an additional week or so of paternity leave during which he cares for the new baby. And, given that I love and trust the man enough to want to have a gaggle of children with him, I have absolutely no qualms about leaving him alone with our kids, even as itty-bitty infants.

I just deleted a Judgy McJudgerson paragraph about choosing to have kids with someone you don't trust. It's too early in the morning (4 a.m.) for snark.

And this is how the summer will go: mommy works until noon, then comes home. Not a bad gig, let me tell you -- I get to come to work where I can choose whether or not to have music playing and definitely don't have children fighting all around me all day and then, about the time that I start to miss everyone, I get to come home and take over house mama duties so that Scott can work int he yard or go to meetings or whatever. And then we all get to hang in the evenings. Well, if hanging out includes t-ball games and swimming lessons, which it does this month.

Anyway, I came home from my easy first day back to pull into our driveway and be greeted by raucous giggling. And two blonde children who came dancing out from their hiding place behind Daddy's truck wearing nothing but swim diapers. Keep in mind that neither of these children have worn diapers for eons and that the diapers they had on were for babied up to 24 pounds. It made me pretty glad that we live out in the middle of nowhere...

Oh, and the babies were just fine, too.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

School's Out for Summer!

The twins are seven weeks old and we're still eating every 3 hours. Mama is still pumping about half of what babies need to eat. The weather has been hotter than hot the last few days.

And school is out for the summer.

While the twins are getting the hang of being on the outside, my older two kidlets are just wanting to be outside. Which is great when it's not 90 in the shade. We're blowing through sunscreen like we have stock in Coppertone. And drinking gallons of water. And using gallons of water for the Slip'n'Slide, which is stationed right outside the kitchen window because I'm not sitting outside with wee tiny infants when the heat index is 100 degrees.

So Milo and Violet have been enjoying the kind of summer that I did when I was a kid. you know the one -- where your exasperated and annoyed mother, tired of hearing yet another "But she blah, blah, blah" or "Mom! He blah, blah, blah," sends you outside largely unsupervised to discover the wonders of your own backyard.

Activities my children have discovered:

1. Running around (duh)
2. Driving the battery operated Gator
3. Riding bikes on the corn crib pad
4. Slip'n'Slide
5. Climbing all over the play set
6. Heaping tons of flowering weeds on Mocha's grave
7. Sidewalk chalk
8. Weeding the strawberries
9. Blowing bubbles
10. Flying a kite

They have also done the following:

1. Left every pair of shows they own outside to get rained upon
2. Pulled up flowers I kinda wanted to keep and strewn them on Mocha's grave
3. Semi-washed the van -- now it looks like someone puked road dust on the side of the van away from the hose connection
4. Gotten more invisible scrapes, cuts, and bruises than I could imagine
5. Lost juice pouches to the prairie
6. Left their bikes out all night, thankfully there's been no rain
7. Squashed the carrots and radishes we planted along our sidewalk instead of landscaping with perennials that I would likely kill
8. Left sunscreen-y footprints all over my wood floors
9. Tried to fly said kite under the only power lines on our acre and balked when I sent them away from the power lines
10. Made their dear mother insane during the heat of the last few days by bouncing balls in the house, whining, begging for snacks all day long, changing clothes thirteen times a day, leaving Legos on the floor like landmines, leaving half-drunk cups of water all over, insisting on watching the most inane cartoons on Netflix, fighting constantly over nothing, and hopping up and down in tears any time she asks them to quiet down, put something which they had gotten out away, or wait ten minutes for a meal instead of having a snack.

And school's only been out for a week...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Heaven Has Never Gotten a Better Dog

She was my first baby, her eyes so bright and intelligent. Her little paws velvet soft, used only for a few weeks before she came home with us.

I remember her sweet, milky breath and that warm puppy smell.

I remember how excited she was, that I needed to sit by her food bowl in order for her to pay attention to her food long enough to eat it.

I remember the first time she barfed up stuff that wasn't food. I couldn't imagine why lint, a small scrap of wire, mulch, and part of something plastic seemed appetizing to her, yet the evidence was clear that she'd eaten all of that.

I remember her surprise when she discovered frogs and they jumped.

I remember long walks in the cool of night. And later, walks with two dogs hitched to the front of the jogging stroller like a team of horses.

I remember her constant affection.

I remember using her for a pillow while napping when I was pregnant with Milo.

I remember that she knew I was pregnant before I did each time I was pregnant. And that she also knew when I wasn't pregnant any more and was mourning losses.

She had a scent -- musky, musty and wise. It was all her own and it comforted me whenever I felt life was too hectic, too spastic, too much.

I miss you, Mo. I miss you when you begged for food (pizza and pork were your favorites). You were never so beautiful as when you begged for food.

You were so smart, so sweet, so very, very kind and patient. You knew who loved you and you loved them back, amply. My children loved and love you. They bore the news of your death with large, sad eyes. Milo's tears spilled into my shirt and Violet watched your body, soaking up the details of your fur as if she was taking a photo.

I have cried for you every night as I sit in the quiet dark, listening to Tessie's melancholy snore and the whirring of my pump. I think of all of the joy you brought me and hope that you will forgive me that the last six weeks of your life were a blur of newborn twins for us. I am so sorry that I just didn't have enough of me to go around and that you and Tess were the ones who got the least.

Oh, my Mo... I hope that you are somewhere dreaming a wonderful dream, chasing pheasants or splashing in a pond or playing fetch with a sweet-faced blond boy in the waning evening sunlight. I miss you, MoMo, and always will.

Mocha Latte
7/9/00 - 5/31/11

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What?? Four Weeks Old? Nope, Five and a Half...

Can it really be that the girls are four weeks old? Well, they were when I started this post. Now they're five and a half weeks old. Wowzers!

I know... time flies at warp speed around here.

Last week marks another fun milestone: the girls are big enough to wear the cloth diapers that I have been so darn eager to use! So they are wearing some organic cotton pre-folds (Green Mountain Diapers) fastened with Snappis and a lavender Thirsties Snap-Wrap covers. To match the lavender trim on their sleep and plays, of course!

Both girls are getting chubby little thighs, finally. All of the eating they've been doing is really paying off. I was worried that all of the weight they have been gaining would end up on their cheeks, but they seem to be spreading it around and are filling out most adorably.

In news of the really odd, they both make this bizarre grunting sound as they wake up -- sort of like a 300lb trucker trying to give birth to a moose. They start with this noise about half an hour before a feeding. It is amusing during the day and disconcerting at night as it does, in fact, wake me wide awake. Scott? Not so much.

And, finally, some news of our poor forgotten older children. Well, they're not really forgotten -- we're all just currently preoccupied with the babies. Including the older kids -- I can't walk across a room holding one of them without Violet begging to "see the baby," which usually involves her sing-songing "Hi, cutie pie!" and kissing their cheeks. Milo is currently banned from cheek-kissing for the second time in the last month because he has had not one, but two fever-inducing colds. Yesterday's was brief, as in he woke up this morning running a 97.5, but he spent the Monday and Tuesday the week right after the babies' births home from school sick with a sinus infection. Sigh... Poor guy can't miss a germ, I swear.

Kid funnies: Milo has taken to throwing disco parties in his room. Which means that he turns on all of the fancy and flashing lights he can find and cranks "Do the Bartman" as loud as I can stand and we all dance.

And Scott relayed the following conversation he overheard Milo having with his best friend at the grocery store as Milo was deciding which fruit snacks to bring to his class party:

Milo's friend, as he points to a box of John Deere fruit snacks: Hey, this box says "Made with real fruit!"

Milo, as he gestures to a box of My Little Pony fruit snacks: Hey, these are made with real ponies!

Yesterday, we gave Violet her first ball glove and ball. It is, of course, pink and black. And she was ever so excited to use it. After dinner, Scott took the kids out to toss the ball around while I pumped (my second job, I swear). Three minutes later, Violet came back into the house, bawling so hard she was incoherent. Something about "Daddy" and "ball" and "my nose!"

Moments later, a hang-dog daddy came around the corner, sighing, "The first ball I tossed to her and I was only two feet away from her. She didn't move her glove at all..."

I'm not sure who felt worse.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Promise to My Children

I promise that I will always love you, no matter what you do. There is nothing you can do that is unforgivable, nor that would make me stop loving you.

I promise that there really is nothing in the world more important to me than the health and safety of my family. You can test this as many times as you like, but I will always be your advocate.

I promise that you do not have to go into battle unarmed. I will teach you every way I know to defend yourself, and if that fails, I will be your shield.

I promise that no matter the problem, I want you to know that I will help you figure it out. Two heads and two hearts are far better than one.

I promise that if you think your heart is breaking, mine is already broken.

I promise that in your journey through life, you are not alone and never will be. Please be braced by my encouragement and never-ending support.

I promise that I will help you to understand the world so that when you need to make choices, you might be able to see the larger picture.

I promise that no matter how old you are and no matter where you live, I am only a step or a phone call away. Please wear out your dial pad calling me.

I promise that when things seem most scary, it is because you simply understand the consequences of actions and that the fear has to be there so that you stop and think.

I promise that every time I look at you, I see both the infant I carried and your future all wrapped up in more love than you could possibly imagine.

I promise that if you tell me you can't handle it, I will be there to carry you.

I promise that I will always love you. Always.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pump It Up

So, the twins are almost four weeks old. Does that seem just insane to you? It does to me. I swear it was just yesterday we were buckling them into their car seats to bring them home from the hospital, grateful that they both passed the car seat check and that they actually fit in their seats. And now?

Well, the days seem endless, but the weeks are flying by -- if that makes any sense.

Before I explain, though, please let me take care of some bloggy business here. On April 18, likely as I was delivering the twins, Sanders over at Just a Dash of Sanders gave me a blog award. She is the mom of twin girls from near our old Penn State stomping grounds. Her gorgeous girls are a wee bit older than mine, so I'll be keeping an eye on her blog so that I can learn what's yet to come...

Also, while editing blog comments, it came to my attention that I was getting some substantial traffic from another blog, Multiples and More. I had joined the site several months ago and check it frequently because there are so many "been there, done that" multiple parents there it has some really great advice. Well, lo and behold, they had my blog featured on their front page under the "Expectant Parents" category. So here's my shout out and thanks for the highlight!

Back to the twin updates: Life is consumed by feeding them, whether it be actually feeding them, preparing to feed them, cleaning up from feeding them, planning feeding them, or pumping to feed them. They eat 7-8 times a day and it is currently taking an hour to prepare, feed, clean up, and pump. It is a full-time job.

I had hoped to nurse the twins as I was very successful nursing Violet (hello, the child weaned at 29 months!). But, according to the lactation consultants, they are true 37-weekers. Which means that they were just young enough that at first, nursing was such an effort that they tuckered out quickly. When coupled with high bili levels (especially Juliet's) and higher-than-preferred weight loss (Willa), we decided that they needed a bit of supplementation until my milk came in reliably. So, under the guidance of a lactation consultant, we started a tube-at-breast (TAB) feeding protocol on the day after they were born (Tuesday).

We were discharged on Wednesday from the hospital with borderline bili levels and borderline weight loss, both were to be checked on Thursday by the home visit nurse. We were still TAB feeding and learned that it was likely that we would need to supplement that way until the girls hit their due date. On Thursday, Juliet's weight loss had stabilized, but Willa's had not. On the other hand, Willa's bili levels were out of the range of concern, but Juliet's were not. In fact, the doctor prescribed a night on the bili bed, which was delivered to our house within the hour.

On Friday, after Juliet's night on the bili bed, we were back to the hospital for another bili level check for her and another weight check for both. Saturday was another weight check for both. Sunday was a doctor's appointment with bili levels (all OK) and a weight check (both girls gaining, finally).

At our Saturday weight check, I told the lactation consultant that I was pretty sure that both girls were sucking on the TAB and not nursing. This was confirmed when the LC did a weight before and after a feeding and the only thing in the baby was the supplement. Sigh... So we changed our game plan again and are offering the breast for as long as baby wants, then bottle feeding pumped milk or formula.

We've been sticking to that since then and both girls have surpassed their birth weights and are doing well. Juliet will attempt to nurse 80% of the time, with one or two feedings where she nurses for 6-8 minutes. Willa will nurse for 1-3 minutes at 1 or 2 feedings a day.

I am frustrated that I haven't been able to get them back to just my breast -- not frustrated with the babies or myself, but at the circumstances that got them off my breast in the first place. Willa's weight loss was rounding 11.5%, which is the starting-to-get-scary point. And Juliet spent one night on the bili bed, but if her levels hadn't improved, she likely would have been admitted to the hospital for more intensive therapy. I get that they both needed to eat and that they weren't quite equipped to nurse like champs from the beginning. But I'm still pretty sad about it because I really, really loved the bond that nursing created between me and Violet. I'm not sure that I'll be able to get either of them back to the breast full-time... sigh...

And then there's the pumping. I don't know how women who only pump can do it. By the time we get both babies fed, it's a 40 minute commitment. Then I pump for about 20 minutes. If I were producing enough to sustain both babies, I wouldn't begrudge a minute of that time. But right now, I'm only pumping enough to feed one baby. I'm trying everything I can think of to increase my supply: power pumps (ten minutes on, fifteen off three times in an hour), staying hydrated, drinking Mother's Milk tea (gives me diarrhea), and extra pumping sessions. And it is not reflecting at all in my pumping totals. In fact, the only thing it is doing is making my nipples crazy sore.

As much as I wish the feeding thing was different, I'll go on this way until I'm so tired I can't function. Or until I fall asleep and suck my nipples right off with the pump. I am feeling a little helpless about this situation, but really am doing my best.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Oooh! Lookie! Pictures... of Cute Kids!

Here are some photos of the babies' births and the first couple of days afterward.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Birth Story for Mother's Day

Go time...

If being wheeled into the OR wasn't strange enough, arriving there was akin to an out-of-body experience. There were a dozen people in there, not counting me or the on-call doc who was still stitching another mom who had given birth.

There were nurses for me, nurses for the baby, the anesthesiologist, a doc from the NICU whose name I didn't catch, me, Scott, the cameraman, and Scott's mom with a camera. Everyone was in gowns and masks except for me -- I was still in a hospital nightie with a bare bum which was resting in a swap of amniotic fluid.

Thankfully, though I could feel the increasing pressure with the contractions, I was not feeling the urge to push. I think that had I not gotten the epidural, Baby A might have been born in the hallway because the urge to push is pretty undeniable. Super Nurse asked if I was comfortable and could hang on until the doc got there. I said, "Yes. As long as he's not going to be an hour."

Then she asked if I wanted to do a practice push. I laughed and responded, "Not until there's someone here to catch!"

About that time, the someone to catch came in and introduced himself. If you recall, he met Scott earlier while I was sleeping. This time, I was very awake. He also asked for a practice push, so I did. About .5 seconds into the push he asked me to stop (which I could do, thanks to the epidural -- if I hadn't had the meds, Baby A would have hit the floor) and he quickly suited up.

Two pushes later at 11:47 a.m., Juliet Diana came into the world weighing 5lbs 8oz and measuring 19 inches long. Scott cut the cord and she was held aloft so that I could get a quick peek at her before getting to work to deliver Baby B.

First, the doctor needed to break Baby B's water. Well, she was hiding way up at the top of my uterus, starting to come down head first. But way up there. Not that Juliet had really come down too far -- apparently I accomplished the amazing feat of dilating to 10cm before she dropped, but this is common for my deliveries -- both Milo and Violet stayed high until I started pushing, then they were delivered quickly, managing to keep their little (ha!) heads nice and round.

So little miss hiding-way-up-there necessitated the doc getting his hand way up there, too, in order to hook her bag of water. The first attempt led to a trickle, so he made a second attempt, which led to a river which flowed so fast I involuntarily gasped, "Woah!"

According to Scott's mom (the OB nurse of some 30 years), once they know that Baby B is coming down the right direction, the OR relaxes. We certainly found that to be the case. The doctor and Super Nurse did a little bit of external repositioning and asked me to start pushing like mad, contractions or not. As she was crowing, they let me take a moment's rest before the final pushes.

Nine minutes after her sister (11:57 a.m.), Willa Caroline came into the world weighing 6lbs 6oz and measuring 20 inches long, completely covered with cheesy vernex. I was surprised that there was so much difference in their weights -- generally, the docs won't let you deliver vaginally if they think that Baby B is more than half a pound heavier than Baby A. Maybe it's a good thing we hadn't had that last growth ultrasound after all?

The nurses worked on the babies as I delivered the placentas and was repaired -- it's very odd to feel the tugging of stitches and have no associated pain. My tear was a second degree tear, but I didn't really feel it during recovery, thank goodness. Given that my first two babies were nearly 3 pounds bigger than Juliet, I'm guessing my tear had more to do with Dr. Large Hands than it did the actual births, but I'm not going to complain at all because I was able to deliver them the way I had so very much wanted.

Both babies did great -- Juliet had APGARs of 9/9 and Willa's were 8/9. Neither needed NICU time, both came back to the suite with me. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect twin delivery and am so very thankful and appreciative of the doctors and nurses who trusted me and my body to do it.

And that's my birth story for Mother's Day. I continue to be amazed by the four (FOUR!) little people Scott and I have brought into our lives. Every day fills me with more joy than I thought possible; I am continually humbled by the sheer force of their spirits. I feel pretty certain that I am the luckiest mama in the world.

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Watching the Lights Go By

At around 6:00 a.m., the Evil Pitocin was started. I call it Evil Pitocin because I needed it to go into labor with Milo and can't say enough about how much I disliked how quickly the contractions settled in -- from 0 to 90mph in 30 minutes. Aware that using the Evil Pit caused my uterus to hyperstimulate with him (have contractions with two peaks), I had discussed the timing of my epidural very carefully with the night nurse.

I had decided that I only wanted to labor until just after the shift change without the epidural, since it was going to be necessary when Dr. Frying-Pan-Hands delivered the twins. I figured that any great anesthesiologist would love to come in on call on Monday morning and administer my epidural, right? Actually, I was mostly interested in having a "fresh" doctor because getting my epidural with Milo was rather, ummm... difficult. As in it took eleven tries.

Shift change rolls around and I still can't call my contractions any more painful than a 3 on the pain scale. And they aren't assembling into any ordered pattern at all. They were coming every 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 7 minutes... You get the picture -- like a middle school orchestra plays through a piece of music for the first time -- not paying any attention to the conductor.

At shift change, we were given a treat -- a nurse whom Scott has known since he was a child and who also staffed Violet's birth came in as our nurse for the labor and delivery. We were thrilled!

The anesthesiologist come in, introducing himself and surveying my back. He proclaims it acceptable, saying, "We'll get this one on the first try!" And he did. Whew!!! I was honestly more worried about the epidural than the delivery. Not only that, but it appears to be a perfect epidural -- I can move and sense the pressure of the contractions, but feel none of the ouchies. After this experience, I can now understand why a woman would want an epidural. Don't get me wrong -- I still preferred my un-medicated birth with Violet, but this was a thousand times better than the way I felt with Milo.

Of course, as soon as the epidural was effective, I was overcome with nausea. Super Nurse put something into my IV that got rid o the nausea, but also put me to sleep for a couple of hours. Poor Scott had yet to close his eyes, but I was out deeply enough that I didn't even know that the on-call OB came in to chat with us about what was up. I surely hope Scott told him what I wanted. I think he did, though, as everything was pitch perfect all day.

At some point, S and the cameraman popped back in, wondering if there was a timeline for the day as no one really knew how long it would take. Super Nurse said, "Well, this isn't her first, so she could go from 2-10 pretty quickly. It doesn't usually happen that way and she's about 4 right now, but you never know."

I did rouse when Scott's mom came in to see how we were doing, mostly because I wanted to know how Milo and Violet were after their adventure of the previous night. About that time, I began to notice that the head lead on Baby A was moving. I could feel it twisting and turning and it occurred to me that A's head night be turning to get into place for delivery, so I said something to Super Nurse. She decided to check my progress and very quickly said, "Yep. She's complete."

Scott's mom decided to postpone the meeting she was about to attend and stuck her head out the door to let S and the cameraman know it was time to gown up. Scott climbed into the surgical jumpsuit, claiming that he looked "like a garbage man."

I was given an attractive shower cap, too, just before the bed went mobile and I was pushed into the OR. You always see shots in movies as a patient is being wheeled into surgery, dramatic music rising, weeping spouses begging the character to, "Hang on! I can't lose you!" and the camera pans to a shot of the lights whirring by overhead, clearly the patient's view. Aside from the melodramatics, the view of the lights is accurate, I can now vouch. I had that thought as I watched the lights go by...

Friday, May 6, 2011

So We Waited...

The words that slipped from my mouth to the receptionist at the birth care center seemed utterly surreal, "Hi. I'm 37 weeks pregnant with twins and my water has broken. I'm not in labor yet. Oh, by the way, I have called S. from the hospital and she will be here with a camera person shortly. They are completely OK to come in to triage or our room, wherever we are when they get here. And there should be a note in my file that my OB is planning to deliver me, even though she's not on call. And I'm Courtenay..."

I'm not sure which part was more crazy -- that the twins were on their way or that the little flighty introduction I gave the poor receptionist made me sound like I was Mariah Carey and we were checking into the celebrity wing of the hospital in L.A. whilst surrounded by paparazzi. In any case, I felt a wee bit self-conscious giving that whole self-important blah, blah, blah...

We were shown back to Room 2, the site of many of our non-stress tests. The tech asked a few questions, gave me a hospital gown and scooted out of the room to let me change. I made Scott take one last belly shot for the sake of weird science, and used the toilet. When I was attempting to stand up without dribbling amniotic fluid down my leg, our nurse arrived, escorted by a newly-minted charge nurse who just happened to be the daughter of a friend and who had staffed Violet's birth. I'm not sure who was more excited -- us or her.

I apologized profusely for leaking on the floor.

After going through the admission paperwork, I was hooked up to the old familiar monitors. Baby A was in the same spot as always, Baby B was sliding up and down the right side of my belly, naturally. I was not contracting in any pattern, commenting that the contractions I was having were less painful than the Braxton-Hicks I'd been having all week.

About this time, S and M (the cameraman) showed up for a quick interview, both looking tired and excited. I apologized for calling them out of bed, but neither seemed put out by it. M decided that he was going to shoot clocks throughout the piece, so, though I have no clue how long I was actually in triage, the video has the proof!

After confirming that my water had indeed broken, the nurses helped us organize our stuff and head to the suite where I would labor. Because I was having twins, the delivery would take place in an operating room in case we needed swift medical intervention, but I was able to labor in the comfort of a birthing suite, followed always by the swoosh-swoosh of the monitors.

I was still not contracting with any urgency, still only dilated to about 2cm. They started an IV with my antibiotics and fluids. My OB arrived on the scene, also looking sleepy. She explained that as luck would have it, the next morning was the only morning that she had surgery scheduled all week and, due to that, the on-call doc was going to have to do the delivery. I blinked and asked who the doc was...

Fortunately for us, the on-call doc was an OB who had been practicing longer than I've been alive -- so back in the day when they delivered breech babies vaginally instead of automatically checking the box for a c-section. I sighed with relief knowing that my body could deliver both babies vaginally if the doc was amenable and that the on-call doc was amenable. As she placed a scalp lead on Baby A, I mused that my OB has tiny delicate hands and the on-call doc towered over Scott and had hands the size of polar bear paws. I shuddered a little and decided that I was glad that I was going to have an epidural.

And then the waiting began. My doc decided not to start the pitocin right away to see if my body would get into a good labor pattern on my own. I didn't think that it would and had a deja vu moment as I remembered back to Milo's birth. My water broke then, too, and labor didn't start. Pretty much like it was going so far with the twins.

And so we waited. Scott and I were far too awake to relax, he was bouncy with anticipation. My contractions weren't painful, strong, nor long. So we waited...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Into the Unknown

Instantly life sped up. Scott flew out of the bed, thanking his intuition for not taking the Ambien, and we started planning what our next steps were.

"We've got to call someone to watch the kids. Should we have someone come here? Should we take them somewhere?"

"What about the dogs? They're going to have to stay outside for the night."

"Must call S. from the hospital so she can alert the camera crew. Yikes! We'll be waking them in the middle of the night..."

"I'm going to be a little vain and take five minutes to put on some make-up. I think we're going to be up all night and I just don't want to look like Frankenstein's monster on TV."

I got myself ready and Scott bustled about dressing himself, loading the few things that needed to be loaded in the van, and finally carrying each of our children through the cold rain to their car seats.

By the time I got to the van, they were both wide awake and grinning from ear to ear. In unison, they squealed, "I love you, mommy!" as I ungracefully climbed into my seat and onto the thick beach towel Scott had laid out to soak up the amniotic fluid.

"Do you know what we're doing up in the middle of the night?"

"Daddy says we're having the babies!!" Violet pealed, her smile shining in the darkness like a beacon. Milo shouted, "Yay for babies"

And we were off in the night to meet Scott's mom at the birth care center so that she could take the kids and we could get admitted. i still was not contracting.

I placed the call to S. from the hospital, she answered sleepily, but became quickly excited when I told her that my water had broken. She said she'd get the ball rolling with the film crew and wished us good luck for a safe drive through the downpour. I called my mom and told her what was up, asking her not to drive out in the middle of the night because I wasn't actually in labor yet, so I anticipated a lunchtime arrival of the babes.

We pulled up under the awning of the birth care center and Scott's mom came out, looking both sleepy and excited. I kissed each of the kids good night, feeling very sad to send them along, even though they were bursting at the seams with pride and excitement. I was remembering how hard it was for me to miss Milo for the few days I was in the hospital with Violet's birth.

It was cold out, and in the whirlwind to get to the hospital, I had not grabbed a jacket, so I shivered in the cold wind as Scott closed the van doors on our family of four for the last time.

We made our way into the darkened lobby of the birth care center, taking deep breaths as we stepped off the edge into the unknown.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Yes, I'm Fine... Actually, My Water Broke

Sunday, April 17 dawned like any other muddy spring day here in Iowa. The mischievous sparkle of a spring snow that had dusted the previous morning was long gone, but the whine of the spring wind wrapped itself around the house, making a melancholy song.

I was restless. And very uncomfortable, perhaps more uncomfortable than I had been during the entire twin pregnancy. Uncomfortable enough to need a shower, breaking my one-ness with the couch for long enough to actually shave my legs. That is, by the way, a real feat for a beyond hugely pregnant mama in a smallish shower. Yes, I felt absolutely compelled to shave my legs.

My pelvic bone felt like it was breaking in two and I was actually flopping around on the couch like a turtle on it's back. I chanted silently every time I moved, "One more week. Hang on for just a little longer..."

Scott's parents brought dinner that night. I think they were missing my lovely Milo and Violet, but it was nice to eat something not frozen, then warmed or carried out from who-knows-where. I commented to his mother that I was feeling about done with being pregnant, that 37 weeks was tomorrow.

TMI alert (sorry, Dad): Shortly after they left, I discovered I was losing my mucous plug. I laughed loudly from the bathroom. Scott misheard and thought I was calling for help, so he came bounding through the house like a herd of elephants to see what was up. I said, "I'm losing my plug here. That just means I'm moving closer to labor, but it could be hours or weeks. Not a hard sign of anything."

Still, even though I was approaching labor and delivery for the third time in my life, the excitement began welling. It may sound naive, but I felt pretty certain at that moment that I wasn't going to make it to 38 weeks. Scott seemed to sense my restlessness and decided that it was the night for him to stop taking the Ambien -- just in case.

Neither of us fell into a deep sleep. The girls were having a dance party, using my bladder for a trampoline, so I was up four times to use the bathroom before 1:00.

At 1:20, as I was laying there in the darkness, listening to Scott's breathing become rhythmic and deep, I felt the telltale POP and a small gush. I quickly rolled out of bed, not wanting to flood the mattress. Scott stirred slightly. I made my way to the bathroom in a trance. Sat down, could tell that the trickle of liquid was not coming from my bladder. Sleepwalked back to the bedroom, where I stood poised at the foot of the bed, not quite sure how to wake Scott.

He roused slightly, and asked a perfunctory, "You OK?"

I stammered, "Yes, I'm fine... Actually, my water broke..."

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (Give or Take)

With eight little feet
Our family is complete!

We welcomed to our family Juliet Diana (5lbs 8oz and 19 inches) on April 18 at 11:47 a.m. and Willa Caroline (6lbs 6oz and 20 inches) at 11:56 a.m. Mommy was so glad to not have a c-section!

Pictured above in Violet's arms is Willa and Milo is holding Juliet.

More details to come when I'm a bit more awake. This is definitely NOT anything like bringing home one baby...

Monday, April 11, 2011

36 Weeks and What Am I Doing?

Hanging out on the couch during the day on modified bedrest. Yep, I got the order on Thursday because my blood pressure has been elevated for a couple of weeks -- not really any higher than it went when in the last weeks of pregnancy with Milo and Violet, but wasn't carrying around a 54cm belly those pregnancies and I am now.

54cm. That's sort of crazy -- that's like being a year + 2 weeks pregnant with a singleton. Even on the message board for multiples and twins I have a huge belly -- for twins. Kinda right on for triplets, though.

How big is my belly? So big that my doc couldn't use the drop down choices on her charting software because it only goes to 50cm. So she had to put my measurement in the notes section instead. D'oh!

So, what have I learned about modified bedrest?

1. My dogs are dang gassy all day.
2. Daytime TV stinks, too.
3. My own ankles have returned!
4. It is exhausting trying to relax all day. Yeah, that seems like an oxymoron, but it's not.
5. I adore my hubby, who has been doing it all since Thursday. Including getting stuff done that I simply couldn't get to. He is clearly more efficient than I am... Yay, Scottie! You rock, my love!
6. My kids think this is a great opportunity to have me play with them since I'm essentially a hostage of the couch. Yes, I had to institute a rule that mommy is not to be covered in toys. Or cracker crumbs.
7. These same children also believe that they need to sit so closely to me that I'm not exactly sure where they end and I begin. This also leads to much belly squashing and an occasional war for what's left of my lap (there's not much there).
8. I'm kinda having to force myself to eat because I'm just not too hungry since I'm expending the energy of a sleepy sloth.
9. I am actually considering playing Milo's DS. Of course, then my excuse of "I don't know how to use a DS, so I can't help you" is out the window, but only if he catches me. He has Lego Harry Potter and that seems way more interesting than solitaire on my phone.
10. I can't seem to think of a 10th thing I've learned while confined to my couch... Perhaps my brain is already turning to mush?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Suck It Up, Sister!

I don't know why I do this... it frustrates me to no end, but yet, every pregnancy I end up doing it anyway. And I get darn frustrated every time. Sigh... Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment (in more ways than one).

What is my issue?

Those darn pregnancy message boards. Inevitably as I draw closer to my due date, I find myself stopping by a message board for women due about the same time I am during my afternoons home alone. And every day there is another woman *begging* to go into labor. At 34 weeks, 35 weeks, 36 weeks... You get the picture. It's not the same woman, either. Apparently, the idea that a 40 week pregnancy is average doesn't make sense to them. That if 40 weeks is average, some women will be 2 weeks early and some will be 2 weeks late and still be considered a "normal" gestational age.

Who on earth would want a baby that will go straight from her body to the NICU? When asked that question, most backpedal and say, "Well, I don't WANT a sick baby... but I do want to be done being pregnant." Because the extra three or four weeks to get to term will be unbearable? Right?

Simple fact: no woman is comfortable at the end of pregnancy, even if she has had a textbook pregnancy. She's slow and sore and can't sleep and has heartburn and might be swelling and, well, you get the picture. But we're ALL that way. A wise friend once told me that you go through the last month of pregnancy feeling so uncomfortable that you're ready to do anything, including delivering a baby through your ear, to get comfortable again.

I'm sort of on the fence about being induced at 38 weeks with the twins. Logically, I understand that it is usually safer for babies and mother for twins to come then, but on the other hand, if my placentas are still functioning well and my blood pressure isn't skyrocketing, I kind of have a hard time thinking it's OK to evict them before they say they're ready to come out.

I sympathize with the women who are just over being pregnant, really, I do. I can't sleep for more than 45 minutes at a shot before waking up in searing hip pain, then spending 30 seconds climbing out of bed to use the bathroom and another 30 seconds lowering myself back into the bed on my other side, only to repeat the cycle in another 45 minutes. I am winded to the point of needing to sit for 5 minutes upon arrival at my office -- the walk is uphill no matter from which direction I approach it. And right now, my daughters are in a race to see which will get their head down into my pelvis first, but both have miserable aim, so they are grinding their heads on the insides of my hipbones. And the heartburn? ATOMIC. So I get wanting to be done.

On the other hand, this is the last time I get to do this and, most of the time, I am in complete amazement at the crazy dance in mt belly. Which, I'm guessing will measure a full year pregnant at my next appointment. A FULL YEAR. So suck it up, sister, and imagine carrying my belly around for a while.

Yep, it is a good thing it's me and not you...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Belly Love

"Mama, I love your belly," Milo crooned as he wrapped his arms as far around me as they could get, which, considering my girth, wasn't very far.

"Me,too! And I love the babies!" Violet piped up, her cold little hands on my belly, one over each baby's back.

I love my belly, too. I love feeling full of life, even with all of the discomfort that comes along with an extreme pregnancy. I'm calling it that because the skin over my uterus is stretched to shiny, the stretch marks now climbing higher toward my cheat like tree limbs reaching for the sky. 50.5cm is what the doc told me on Thursday, chuckling and smiling. "You look cute!" Maybe it was because we were somehow wearing matching lime green shirts, though I guarantee that her trim figure is far cuter than mine.

We did not set an induction date yet, but that 38 week mark hits the day after Easter. I'm sort of in shock, though -- I made it to April! And I have no restrictions, other than the normal no alcohol, drugs, or banned foods.

We did get to see a very crowded ultrasound. I imagine that if there were only one in there, it would be really cool to see, but with two? It was hard to get measurements because someone was always moving or getting a limb in the way. We could only get a fuzzy shot of Baby A's little face because she was so low the tech had to shoot diagonally across my belly. Baby B would only reveal the bottom half of her face, but those shot show a generous pout -- clearly she has Violet's full lips. She also started the ultrasound in a race to the bottom with her sister, then slid up transverse, then slid back down vertex.

And their weights? Well, I'm sorry to say that anyone who has guessed Baby B to be smaller or under 5lbs is already wrong -- Baby A was 4lbs, 13oz and Baby B was 5lbs, 2oz. So I'm carrying nearly 10lbs of baby already.

No wonder it takes me forever to walk anywhere...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's Time!

Well, I've reached that all-important 34 week point. Why is that such a huge deal? Because if I go into labor now, they won't stop it. Chances are that the babes would need only minimal NICU time.

That being said, I do not feel like I'll be going into labor any time soon. I'm still relatively comfortable (except at nighttime) and haven't had any more episodes of contractions. Both girls are head down and active and I am growing exponentially. Probably because I've been hittin' the ice cream. My next non-stress test, ultrasound, and appointment are on Thursday and I can't wait to see how big the girls are now.

So I think it's time to start a baby arrival pool! I will deliver at 38 weeks (April 25th or so) because my doc won't let the twins cook any longer than that. I think her normal call day is a Tuesday, which would be April 26th, so let's call that the last eligible day for this little wager, shall we?

Give me your best guesses! How about answering the following:
1. Birth date
2. Birth time
3. Length of labor (Milo's was 12 hours -- 6 active, Violet's was 7 hours -- 3 active)
4. Baby A's weight
5. Baby B's weight

If you are normally an anonymous commenter, leave me a clue in your comment so I can figure out who you are. Like, "Your cousin from Russia" or something. Or your name, if you aren't afraid -- that would make it much easier. Like, "Jana K." or whatever.

I don't have any prizes for y'all (my prizes are the baby girls I'll get to meet), but if you are the closest predictor, I'll make sure to pimp out your psychic ability to anyone who cares!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Stressful Non-Stress Test

It is the third time that the nurse has been in the triage room, frowning at the monitor. She chats for a moment, then says she's going to find the on-call doc to see how to proceed.

I turn to the monitor, watching the double tracings of my babies' heart rates. Baby A's line is yellow and it dances all over the monitor as she kicks and swishes away in there. Baby B's line is green and it holds steady, varying between the same 10 beats per minute a non-reactive stress test.

I am thoroughly convinced that this is just what Baby B does. All three times she's been on the monitor, her strip shows less reactivity, yet I can feel her moving, listen to her hiccups amplified by the monitor, and know that she really is fine.

But she's not giving them the data they need on the strip, so the doc orders a biophysical profile, which is an ultrasound that looks for certain things: practice breathing, movement, muscle tone, etc.

I am still relaxed, for the most part, but had made the mistake of texting back to Scott when he asked, "How do they look?"

I texted, "Baby A looks gorgeous. Baby B is being a stinker and avoiding the monitor."

Seconds later, "Is she in distress?"

"No, too calm. Might be sleeping."

We text back and forth and I can hear his anxiety in his keystrokes. He's not with me because he's going to pick Milo up from school and I can tell that he is very concerned that he isn't by my side. It doesn't seem to matter that I tell him that I think everything is fine, he interprets this as cavalier and calls his mother, the OB nurse of 35+ years, (who has seen the strips and agrees with me) for a more expert opinion. So my darling worried hubby is causing me more stress than the non-stress test was.

Finally the ultrasound tech arrives and she starts looking around to see what's up in there. The best news is that both babies are vertex (head-down). I was pretty sure that they were, based upon the placement of their hiccups over the last week or so. This is a huge relief to me -- as long as A stays head down, I'll be able to deliver vaginally, yay! There is nothing wrong with delivering by c-section, but I'd really like to avoid having surgery if at all possible. I am intimidated by the recovery, particularly when I have two other children at home who will need a mom.

As we watch the screen, it is clearly apparent why Baby B was difficult to monitor -- she had pretty much folded herself in half and turned so that her back was away from the probe, hiding and playing with her foot. Side note: cutest thing on ultrasound ever to watch her reach for her foot and play with her toes...

Both babies passed the biophysical profile 100%, so I was finally released to my OB appointment, after three and a half long hours. I joked that I was at the hospital for less time when I delivered Violet.

The OB appointment? Well, my regular doc was on vacation, so I saw another doc from the practice who was very complimentary on my history with this pregnancy. She asked, "Did you go full-term with your first two?"

"They were both born at 39 weeks, plus a few days, so yep!"

"You'll be going full-term this time around, too. Great job, mama!"

So now two out of two doctors think that the girls won't arrive until their time to be evicted. I'm guessing that at next week's appointment (34 weeks + 3 days), I'll be setting an induction date for just after Easter. That date is coming both too quickly and far too slowly for my liking...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Master Manipulator

My darling little Violet is swiftly on her way to becoming a master manipulator. I don't know if that is the function of a second child, or what, but she is getting darn good about worming her way into getting exactly what she wants. most of the time.

First of all, she plays up the extra sweet card. If Milo is having a rough moment, she pours on the charm, asking us, "Am I listening, Mommy?" or "Look, Mommy, I washed my hands." Stinker. Poor Milo has no chance because she is remarkably adept at figuring out what he's doing and making a 180 on us, doing the exact opposite.

As in he says, "I don't LIKE this rice with my taco."

She says, "I just love it -- it's yummy!" and then she takes a big bite to prove it.

I don't like the idea of having to compare and contrast my children. I don't think it is an effective way to discipline, nor do I like the way it puts one sibling in the negative role. In this case, it always seems to be Milo who is getting chided and chastised.

If I praise him, she's right there with a "I did it, too, Mommy! See, I was good, too!" so trying to compensate and help him out isn't working too well, either. Sigh...

On the whole, Milo really is a good kid and he doesn't deserve to feel like we prefer his sister or get after him constantly. I just don't quite know what to do here... I try to carve out some time with him each day, but he's a busy kid with his own agenda of stuff to do. This is good, I prefer it when my kids can keep themselves entertained and aren't constantly whining about being bored, but he's needing me less and less each day, I swear. As his reading ability grows, his need for me will dwindle -- except for feeding, clothing, and cleaning up after him. He's not a baby any more and is a very confident and successful schoolchild now. His capabilities are limited only by his imagination, which is quite large.

And, I guess, by his little sister's one-upmanship. Maybe it's a good thing that he's thrilled to be "the only kid boy" in the family, 'cuz he's about to be awash in a sea of girl...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Nine-Month Marathon

I sort of suddenly occurred to me that within the next five weeks I'm going to have four children.


And two of them are going to be stuck on my boobs for months. How lame is it that I'm totally excited that I got a script from my OB for a new breast pump? My old one was purchased when Milo was born and used approximately 600 times during Violet's first year. It's looking a little sad... But I get to go pick out a new one, yay!!

We're busy prepping our cloth diapers. I just ordered wet bags, diaper pail liners, and cloth diaper-safe diaper cream. The only diaper supplies left to order are the all-in-ones for daycare, and those won't be really necessary until daycare time this fall.

So, up until now my focus had really been on making this a healthy pregnancy and on keeping the wee lasses inside as long as possible. With a negative fetal fibronectin test, I'm pretty much assured to get to 34 weeks without pre-term labor. Since the ruckus of early last week, my contractions have subsided tremendously, to the point where I'm not tracking them by the hour anymore, but by larger chunks of time -- like three in four hours. Boy am I glad for that!!

But now? Well, we're past the concern of having micro-premies. We're getting ever closer to having babies that would need minimal NICU time. They're busy putting on weight and practicing breathing right now. In fact, all the practice breathing leads to hiccups on one or both sides of my belly most of the day, which cracks me up!

I'm not going to officially say that we're in the home stretch, but I can definitely see that finish line up ahead. I won't wish the babies out for amything because this is really and truly my last pregnancy and, knowing that, this last month is bittersweet.

I have developed one new symptom: my ankles have been swelling a bit. It might not be apparent to someone who rarely sees them, but I've got crazy narrow ankles normally and they're swollen for me. I didn't really retain water with Milo or Violet, so this is new for me. I've been boosting my fluid intake to try and flush it out, but it could just be that I'll have to deal with this until the end. Oh, well, one can't expect to measure 47 weeks pregnant with no water retention, huh? It probably means my weight gain at Thursday's OB appointment will be a little shocking, but, again, my weight gain total will be less than it was with my other kids, so I'm not really going to complain. I might be limping over that finish line, but I'm going to get there!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hey, Look! It's a Freakishly Huge Pregnant Lady!

Hey! It's Sunday. I don't normally post on a Sunday, but after a series of unfortunate events (none of them mine, naturally), I ended up sleeping up on the couch through a loud, loud thunderstorm. Which apparently scared the poop out of Tess. And onto my toy room floor, grrr... So after cleaning that up, I'm wide awake for the day.

I thought I'd show y'all what one might look like if one were 47 weeks pregnant with one baby. Or what I look like 32 weeks and 5 days pregnant with two. Since my doc seems pretty convinced I'll carry to term, I have decided that my ultimate goal is to beat her previous "biggest belly" record of 56cm. Which I will do if I continue to grow at a rate of 2cm per week -- I'll hit 57cm at 38 weeks, or eviction time.

I hope I don't spoil your brunch by posting this pic...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Barbie Lipstick

There is a book out there that I am dying to read. So, I guess if my doc puts me on bed rest tomorrow (not likely, despite the weekend contractions) I know for which book I'll be sending Scott to the bookstore:

Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein.

Why? I listened to a fabulous interview on NPR the other day and, given the recent girly-girl transformation Miss Violet has undergone, it seems like the book would speak to me, particularly since I'm shortly to become the mother of two more daughters.

I don't know that I am terribly concerned with Violet's princess/Polly Pocket/Barbie/My Little Pony/Lalaloopsie/Strawberry Shortcake fascination -- after all, I, too, owned Barbies and Strawberry Shortcakes and Cabbage Patch Dolls as a child and I'm not really an uber-girly girl. Yeah, I prefer to look put together over looking disheveled and homeless, but I've never had a mani or a pedi and my hair color (all of it) is *gasp* my own. How can I help it that auburn with blonde highlights is hot? That's the way it grows out of my head.

The small part of me that is concerned is mostly concerned about the future. Right now, Violet still lets me buy her clothes and generally doesn't have a fit about what she wears. Of course, I'm a total square and can't stand the prosti-tot look, so she does not own belly shirts, Daisy Dukes, or sassy little wedge sandals. Not gonna happen. She does have canvas Mary Janes with lavender rhinestones and flowers on them. She does have a pair of black fake Uggs. She does have chapstick, but it's colorless ad not shiny and she wears it to bed and when playing outside to prevent chapped lips. For the record, so does Milo -- well, the chapstick part. I think he might balk at rhinestoned shoes.

I don't dress like a hoochie-mama and my daughters are not going to dress like mini-hoochie-mamas. For me, it's not a body image thing -- I spent countless hours as a teen in front of a big ol' mirror watching myself dance in ballet class while wearing a leotard and tights. I know what my body looked like then and what it looks like now. Yeah, when I was in high school, I probably would have been cute in a micro-mini and baby T, but I had absolutely no interest in wearing that. I guess I preferred my brain and my personality to do my talking.

I can't say that I am a terribly modest person, either. Years of fast changes in the wings and group dressing rooms have pretty much stripped that from me (har, har). If everything that should be covered by undergarments is covered, I'm good to go. You might be scarred for life by seeing my web of stretch marks, but I'm not scared of them being seen.

It is going to be a tough road to navigate, I'm sure. I want my daughters to feel confident and empowered by the strength of their bodies without feeling the need to let their bodies do all of the talking for them. How do I teach that?

Given their genetics, none of my kids are going to be runway model-material. That was never a dream of mine, yet I surely do remember my sister and cousin having modeling aspirations. And as I was waiting outside Milo's classroom for his parent/teacher conference, I flipped through the class's "What I Want to Be When I Grow Up" book and at least four of the girls listed and drew fashion models as their choice career. *Thunk* (that was my jaw hitting the ground) Seriously?? These girls are a mere two years, or maybe three, older than Violet and ViVi has no clue what a fashion model is. Or what she wears -- and doesn't wear.

So, yeah. Be aware that one of these days, I will be reading Ms. Orenstein's book. I hope it doesn't depress me... But, if it does, I'll remember how Violet bid me goodnight last night:

Mom, you're so pretty! You're fashion style! You're Barbie lipstick with lots of shoes!

Really? I guess if Barbie lipstick needs a crane to get off the couch, wears nine-year-old loafers most days, and is happy to find a shirt that covers all of her belly...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Guess Where I Spent the Night Last Night?

Labor and Delivery...

Don't worry -- the girls are still in here!

I started contracting (painless) around 6:30 last night and was contracting every 20-25 minutes. Called Scott's mom (the OB nurse) for advice around 9:00, she suggested calling L & D, which I did. They had me page the on-call doc, who didn't get back to me. D'oh! By this time, I'd drunk nearly a gallon of water and was falling asleep on the couch and it seemed like the contractions had stopped, so we went to bed.

Woke up at 2:30 to pee (hello, gallon of water) and noticed I was contracting again. Laid there timing them and realized they hit every 10 minutes, which was way closer than I was comfortable with, so we called the kids' college-aged sitter to see if she'd come over. Sweetheart that she is, she was at our house in 15 minutes in the middle of the night.

Went in and got registered for the hospital (hadn't done that quite yet, oops!) and got hooked up to the monitors, where they could see contractions every 7-8 minutes. And two very lovely, reactive babies, which was great -- nurse (who was very pregnant and darn adorable) said they were both doing very well. Then, naturally, they went on the run and both flipped head down during the monitoring, LOL, so she had to chase them for a while.

They did the group B strep test, a fetal fibronectin test, and checked for amniotic rupture. My water had not broken (yay), my cervix was only .5cm dilated and not effaced at all (yay), the fetal fibronectin test was negative (yay!) and they sent me home.

I knew I wasn't in labor, bur preterm labor can be sneaky, so that's why I went in -- neither the doc nor the nurse thought I'd made a bad decision, especially because the chances for pre-term labor go up when carrying multiples.

I have my regular NST and appointment with my OB on Thursday and part of me is wondering if she's going to take me out of work. If she does, she does -- my supervisor is fine with that. With 6 weeks till full-term, 4 weeks till no likely NICU time, if I'm pulled from work I feel pretty good about what I've been able to do to this point.

I was running a low-grade fever part of the evening, pretty sure I caught whatever the kids had last week. Plus, with Scott gone all last week, it was darn stressful -- even with my mom helping out.

I had jokingly told the girls that they weren't allowed to come until Daddy got back, perhaps I should have been more specific...

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Alex Trebek: Motivation?

IASoupMama: What is that which I am lacking.

I am really struggling this week with the urge to just sit on the couch and snooze. I really am -- that's all I want to do right now.

I don't know why. I'm actually more comfortable this week than I was two weeks ago. Yeah, I'm slooo-o-o-o-ow and even slower, but I don't really hurt and am not waddling or anything. I'm just wiped.

Could be because I'm still taking antibiotics for the walking pneumonia. Although, I've had enough doses that one would think my nasal congestion should have cleared by now, but nope! I'm still mouth-breathing and snoring when I sleep because the only thing my nose can do right now is smell things that make me want to gag. Like pork roast. Blech!

Could be that, once again, my kids are sick. They've been running low-grade fevers this week. Milo was diagnosed with an ear infection, but they haven't had any new symptoms other than the fever.

Could be that it seems to be easier for me to tank up on fluids when at home, so I drink lots of water at the end of the day, which equals lots of bathroom trips over night.

Could be that Scott's out of town this week, naturally, so even with help from my mom I am still the only parent in the house. And, of course, my darling short people save their bestest whining and demanding for mom.

Could be that I'm lugging around a 42cm belly. I'm actually pretty happy to be lugging it around because the alternative is babies born too early. Although, watch out all of you moms of singletons who are due in May and whose posts I read on an online forum -- if one more of you complains about how huge you are, I just might come through my computer monitor and deck you. Heaven forbid you be 31 weeks pregnant and measure 31 weeks pregnant... No one is comfy by the end of pregnancy, that's why we're all so ready to face labor. But you don't know uncomfortable until you get to carry a full-term belly for three months...

Could be that my office is so warm it puts me to sleep. Well, I probably wouldn't be falling asleep if I was getting enough sleep at other times in the day, but since I'm not, the tropical warmth of my office is doze-inducing. And damp-inducing as I notice when I wipe sweat from my upper lip.

Anyway... Perhaps I'll find that magic that is motivation again. Although, I might need to really search through napping to get there...

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Plague... The Plague...

Here's a riddle for you:

How many doctor's visits/calls in two weeks does it take to get a family of four (soon to be six) on the road to health and well being?

Answer: Four doctor's visits and two calls.

For some reason unbeknown to me, the plague of walking pneumonia has descended upon our mud-moated white farmhouse. Yes, all four of us are on antibiotics for this.


It started Sunday when Violet started coughing. The poor girl sounded like a squeak toy, but insisted that she felt fine. Scott thought his throat might have been a little sore, but he was just going to keep an eye on it, so we went about our normal Monday stuff, had a normal Monday supper and a normal Monday bedtime.

My pregnant self got up to use the toilet at about 11:15, I had been barely dozing since laying down for the night and figure that before I fell into a hard sleep, I'd use the bathroom one more time. On my way back to bed, I decided to check on the the Squeaker to see how she was.

Not good. Poor babe was burning up. I made a trip downstairs for the thermometer. Checked her temp and it was just below 101. Made another trip down the stairs for some ibuprofen, which she took like a champ, but requested a drink. Made a third trip down the stairs for some cool water. And then a fourth when she asked for something to eat (crackers).

I rocked her for a while, but she was a squirmy mess who wanted to smile at me and say, "I love you, mommy!" and not rest. Then she asked to sleep in my bed. Given that I hadn't really been to sleep yet and it was 12:30, I assented and we climbed into the big bed, where poor little fever girl proceeded to flop all over, to sit up and lay down repeatedly, and to finally ask to go downstairs.

Knowing that Scott (Mr. Ambien) would be useless for a while and would likely get grumpy by Miss Wiggly, I reluctantly bid farewell to my pillow and brought her downstairs, where we watched Netflix over the Wii until 3:30, at which point I decided that Mr. Ambien's medicine had been in his system long enough that he was past the point of uselessness and would now be able to take care of Miss Wiggly so I could sleep until the alarm rang out at 6:30. At 4:30, he brought her back to our bed, where she crashed and we all slept like sardines until I got up for work.

Fast forward a few hours and daddy took Miss Wiggly to the doctor, where she was the first diagnosed with the walking pneumonia. Then he went to an appointment for himself, where he was the second diagnosed with it. Apparently, though I wasn't at the doctor, I was diagnosed, too simply because the bug is so dang contagious and my darling daughter had spent a crazy amount of time breathing her sick breath all over me during the days preceding the doctor's visit. Milo was retroactively diagnosed after a call to his pediatrician, too, since his strep (diagnosed the week before by doctor #1) was gone and the wet cough he'd had before the strep was still lingering, despite a full course of antibiotics.

So that takes us to three doctor's visits and one call. Well, two, as the pediatrician's assistant had written our phone number down incorrectly and I had to call back the next day, confused when they said, "It rang busy three times last night and once this morning." What? We have caller ID. But when you read a 9 and a 1, you dial a number that doesn't exist...

The fourth doctor's visit? That would be my 30 week appointment. Where we had an ultrasound that revealed that Baby A is now 3lbs 6oz and breech and Baby B is 3lbs 12oz and transverse. I have gained another 2 pounds (11 total) and my blood pressure was ok -- not super, but considering the stress of the plague, I'll take it.

So, anyway, I'm ready to see some healthy people around here!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Pregnant Elephant, aka Me

Well, it finally happened. Within the last week I have gone from comfy pregnant lady to feeling like a pregnant elephant. I am sore, tired, and just plain worn out. I am looking into pregnancy support belts - the more straps and elastics, the better. My belly was measuring 41cm last week, so I'm not exaggerating when I say I'm huge.

I have never been one to complain through pregnancy -- aches and pains are just part of the process. But, man, do I feel like I've taken a whiny pill in the last three days.

I've started plotting my errands so that I have the least amount of walking to do. And definitely the least amount of carrying, stooping, and crouching to do. I actually got groceries this week and refused to get dog food because I just didn't want to pick up the bag of food. I knew that Scott would be running to town at some point this week and could pick some up if needed. And we've resorted to giving the dogs Cheerios when we're REALLY out of food, so I was pretty sure they wouldn't starve. Turns out, they had plenty of food anyway, whew!

I've been walking by the laundry and pretending it doesn't exist. I don't mind folding and putting it away, but the last time I tried to carry a basket up from the basement to our bedroom, I felt like I'd run a mile. While carrying a manatee.

Forget scrubbing the bathtub. Or the floor -- I've been wiping up muddy dog prints by skating around on towel shoes. If it can get done from a standing position and requires lifting fewer than 10 pounds, I'm your gal. If not... well... I'm not your gal...

I kinda hate feeling like a weenie. But I hate feeling like a worried mama even more. I had a spell of Braxton-Hicks contractions on Wednesday evening that actually had me concerned. As in, concerned enough to chug 30 ounces of water and lay down to monitor them concerned. Thankfully, even though it felt like I'd had 5 contractions in the hour previous to monitoring, there were only two in the first hour of me lying down and one in the hour after that.

I assume that I just completely overdid it on Wednesday. As in, I worked, then got groceries and unloaded them, then picked up the kids, then came home and cleaned up dog barf while trying to give snacks to two very demanding children who must have worn their hollow legs. When I went upstairs to change out of my work clothes into something more comfy, I was followed by a daughter who insisted on picking out my shirt and socks, which made a three-minute clothing change into a 15 minute dose of frustration. At the end of which, a bawling boy-child came upstairs because he'd been asking me for more cheese crackers the whole time I was upstairs. Could I hear him? No. Did that matter to him? No. Did he like it when I reminded him that he was already holding a bowl and that he knew where the crackers were, so he could have gotten himself more crackers? No. More tears, and not just his.

By the time Scott came home, I was at my wit's end. And, apparently, my uterus agreed with me. I swear that every time Milo started moaning, I contracted. So I really didn't mind it when I banished myself to my bed to do some monitoring.

OK... 8.5 weeks to go... I can do this! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...